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TeachNet NYC: Lesson Plans

Dream Houses

Project URL:


How it works:
This program is about houses and how people build them, and how they become homes.  It explores different types of homes and how the environment effects what types of houses people construct. It uses visuals, repetitive verses, poems, songs, and hands-on projects to involve the students in building vocabulary and exploring the reasons why people in different environments have different needs. In this regard it touches on multiculturalism, and creates an avenue where other aspects such as food and clothing can be further explored at a later time. Students are required to use the computer (Kid Pix) to create their own "dream house."

Standards addressed:

The students read, write, listen, and speak for information and understanding, and interpret information represented in pictures, illustrations, and simple charts and webs.
They use a picture dictionary as a resource for vocabulary, and match spoken word to print by pointing to words in text on a chart when read aloud. They also use computer software to support early reading development and  writing skills.

Materials used:
At least one computer will be needed, along with Kid Pix (published by Broderbund) and SuperPrint (published by Scholastic) software.  Various texts, such as The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Manus Pinkwater and How A House Is Built by Gail Gibbons; other charts, graphic organizers, and magnets are listed as well.

The students:
The students are in kindergarten and first grade with limited English proficiency and limited computer and writing skills. They are grouped according to the scores achieved on the LAB. Those who score under 24% receive double periods of ESL on a daily basis.

Overall value:
This program will build self-confidence in students with limited English proficiency by increasing their vocabulary, appreciation of literature, and writing and computer skills.  Improved motivation to learn English is another outcome of this project. The activities in Homes can be adapted for teaching vocabulary in any classroom setting.

Tips for the teacher:
There are several books and poems listed in each lesson.  You may choose to use these materials, or substitute other appropriate texts on the theme of homes.


About the teacher:
Margaret McQuade has been teaching since l970. She is a graduate of Sacred Heart University  in Fairfield, Connecticut.  She received her Masters in Elementary  Education from The College of Staten Island, and recently has received a Masters in English As A Second Language from The College of New
Rochelle. She is presently teaching ESL to kindergarten and first grade students
at P.S. l0lK.

E-mail: CHornik@aol.com

Subject Areas:  
Language Arts

Grade Level: K-1




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